By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
PUBLIC Disclosure Commission Chairman Myles Laroda yesterday remarked on the high-level of engagement experienced by his office due to the looming deadline for former and current parliamentarians to file financial disclosures or face prosecution.
Mr Laroda could not confirm the number of disclosures filed after the deadline was imposed by the Minnis administration; however, he noted that several persons have already filed.
He noted an uptick in the frequency of calls from former and sitting politicians on how they can become compliant with the law.
“Basically, with questions with regards to their information and assistance in simple things,” Mr Laroda said of the calls his office has received. “Like if you have more information than they allow in a slot, or what the timeline on disclosing is, and if they don’t have a certain document what they should do.
“I’m hearing it on both sides, individuals want to get their stuff in. Asking, what all they have to do. Some of the actual politicians, there were those who believe they were compliant because they filed for election but that ain’t got nothing to do with us.”
Mr Laroda stressed that disclosures made to the Parliamentary Registration Department were completely separate from the Public Disclosure Commission, with the latter requiring detailed financial documents to support filings.
He suggested that moving forward there should be an amendment to the Parliamentary Registration Act to ensure stricter accountability measures for financial statements made.
The government has set a June 30 deadline for former and sitting parliamentarians to file disclosures or face prosecution, according to Press Secretary Anthony Newbold.
Once passed, the government has instructed Mr Laroda to send his finalised list of delinquent parliamentarians to Attorney General Carl Bethel by Monday, July 3.
When contacted by The Tribune last month, Mr Laroda would not disclose the list of delinquent politicians but noted that they included members of both the former governing party, the Progressive Liberal Party, and the Free National Movement, which served as the Official Opposition until the May 10 general election.